Project Code: STATE-BEL-30

Analysis and Comparison of Transatlantic Data Privacy Regimes

Project Title Analysis and Comparison of Transatlantic Data Privacy Regimes
Project Summary Data privacy is a defining issue of the 21st century. The U.S. Mission to the European Union would like to commission an analysis of the various data protection regimes in the U.S. and the European Union. Compare and contrast their strengths and weaknesses.
Country Belgium
Agency Department of State
DoS Office N/A
Section ECON
Number of Interns 1
Project Description

Data privacy is hot button issue that has wide ranging impact on commerce, law enforcement and free speech. It is also viewed very differently on both sides of the Atlantic. Europeans consider personal data as belonging strictly to the individual — even after it has been collected and used for commercial transactions. Personal data protection has been enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.  By contrast, the United States views data privacy primarily through the lens of consumer protection or of limits on U.S. government processing of PII under the Privacy Act and other sectoral based laws.

The difference in philsophies is born out in different legal structures and protections. The European Union adopted the Global Data Protection Regulation in 2016. The GDPR is an attempt to establish a global standard to regulate personal data. The U.S. has debated the merits of comprehensive data protection and regulation measures but has satisfied itself with a patchwork of rules and regulations that constitute a more laissez-faire approach to data protection.

The U.S. Mission to the European Union is looking for a student with a strong analytical bent to conduct a comparison and analysis of the different data protection regimes on both sides of the Atlantic. We are especially interested in the scope of the various legal protections and an analysis of their economic costs and benefits. Where are the regimes complementary? Where are they at odds? What is their impact.

Required Skills or Interests
Analytical writing
Economic analysis
Additional Information